Velarde goes out first in Heat 10, he'll know that Hall is capable of setting another track record, so there's a tonne of pressure on the Spanish pilot's shoulders out in the racetrack
Velarde looking steady but there's a lot of power and speed coming out of that raceplane today... he knows he's got to go faster than he has all wee to grab that Final 4 place... Velarde going full throttle through that last section and he's QUICK and he's PENALTY FREE
How will Matt Hall answer?
This is the heat that could dictate the direction of Matt Hall's World Champion title bid
- Pylon Hit!
Hall fully focused as he goes through the Start Gate at 200kts... that's a perfect start and the splits are telling us that he's got 0.3s on Velarde but NO! NO! It's over for Hall at Gate 12 as he clips a pylon and there's NOTHING the Australian can do! The Final 4 is out of reach, he's done for today. How will that affect his World Championship lead? We'll have to wait and see...
Velarde advances to the Final 4 alongside Chambliss and Goulian.
Former Red Arrows pilot Ben Murphy knows all about precision... but he needs to match that will pure power out there today in order to keep Sonka on the back foot
Sonka cleared into the track to bring the Round of 8 to a close... he's through at 198kts and a good start. Sonka is a former fighter pilot and has the skills to fly fast and precisely under pressure. No errors and no signs of pressure affecting his performance as Sonka pulls through his VTM ahead of the curve... half a second on Murphy. Under review as he passes through the Finish Gate and the call comes that he's through... a very cool performance that's set the benchmark for the Final 4.
Sonka has flown fastest so far today, but can he repeat that R8 performance here in the Final 4?
Chambliss opens the Final 4... first out he'll be setting the benchmark for the podium... and he's flying on the edge and taking his lines to the limit but he has got to keep it a clean performance otherwise he can say goodbye to those podium steps... Chambliss retains his speed and he's throwing everything he's got at this final flight today. It's a better performance and his fastest flight so far! That's all he could have done and it's a waiting game for the American pilot now.
Fellow American pilot Goulian up next.
Goulian into the Start Gate at 197kts, a little slower than Chambliss but he's immediately squeezing more power out of his engine and it seems to be translating into a faster pace as he goes ahead of Chambliss in the first split. It's virtually neck and neck and Goulian just losing some time, just 0.012s there behind Chambliss. Goulian has one last chance to get that top spot... he's back in the lead, he's giving it his ALL as he goes through the Finish Gate in the green! Goulian takes top place in the timesheets with a 0.066s lead.
Spain's Juan Velarde lines up for the Start Gate... could Kazan spell victory for Juan?
Velarde into the racetrack at 199kts. A solid start and his new wingtips have been giving him some extra speed out there, but the splits are showing that Velarde can't quite match Goulian's times... some nice lines and angles through the Gates but there's just not enough speed coming out of the raceplane. Velarde finishes in 3rd and only Sonka can take a podium finish away from the Spanish pilot. Nevertheless a season's best performance.
This is it. The last flight of the day. All eyes on Sonka. Another race win?